Program Type: 
Performance
YBCA and Kronos Performing Arts Association present
Kronos: Listen Local

Kronos Quartet with Pamela Z, Nathaniel Stookey, Dan Becker and Stephen Prutsman

February 21, 2013 - February 22, 2013

Overview

YBCA and Kronos Performing Arts Association present
Kronos: Listen Local
Kronos Quartet
Pamela Z
Nathaniel Stookey
Dan Becker
Stephen Prutsman

Thu, Feb 21–Fri, Feb 22  •  8 pm  •  Lam Research Theater (formerly Novellus Theater)
Advance tickets: $25–30 Regular  •  $20–25 students, teachers and seniors
At the door: $30–35 Regular  •  $25–30 students, teachers and seniors
$20-25 YBCA members
FREE for YBCA:You
Pre-Show Discussion with the Composers, Thu, Feb 21, 7-7:30pm

San Francisco’s own Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet concludes its multi-year partnership with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on February 21 & 22 with Kronos: Listen Local, a program highlighting the vibrant creative voices of its hometown composers. Internationally renowned for scouting the world over for exceptional collaborators, Kronos turns its focus to its home turf for two world premieres, including And the Movement of the Tongue, a new work for string quartet and electronics by San Francisco’s celebrated media artist Pamela Z, co-commissioned by YBCA and the Kronos Performing Arts Association; and String Quartet No. 3 'The Mezzanine', a new piece by Nathaniel Stookey, who at age 17 was the youngest composer ever commissioned for the San Francisco Symphony’s New and Unusual Music Series. The program also features the West Coast premiere of “Carrying the Past” by Dan Becker, chair of the composition department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and works by other San Francisco musicians.

For nearly 40 years, the Kronos Quartet has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing over 45 recordings of extraordinary breadth, commissioning more than 750 new works, and collaborating with renowned artists of myriad disciplines.

Pre-Show Discussion with the Composers, Thu, Feb 21, 7-7:30pm
Join us for a special pre-show curtain talk with the four San Francisco composers selected by Kronos Performing Arts Association and YBCA for Kronos: Listen Local. The composers Pamela Z, Nathaniel Stookey, Dan Becker, and Stephen Prutsman will speak about their work with pianist, writer and radio producer Sarah Cahill who will moderate the discussion. Sarah Cahill’s radio show, Then & Now, can be heard every Sunday evening from 8 to 10 pm on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory and curates a monthly series of new music concerts at the Berkeley Art Museum.

Listen to Dan Becker's Playlist
Recorded from 78rpm records from the early 1920s, these songs shape the new work of contemporary San Francisco composer Dan Becker.

From Becker: "In the 1990s my family discovered some long lost 78rpm recordings of my grandfather, Eddie Sandson, who played lead trumpet in some of the big bands in the early 1920s. Fascinated and haunted by this music for years now, my new work for the Kronos Quartet is the latest exploration of the relationship between my own musical sensibilities and the witty and sweetly guileless music that I rediscovered through my grandfather's recordings."

Program
Kronos: Listen Local

Dan Becker / Carrying the Past * — West Coast premiere
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Nathaniel Stookey / String Quartet No. 3, “The Mezzanine” *— World premiere
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INTERMISSION

Rahul Dev Burman (arr. Stephen Prutsman / Kronos) / Mehbooba Mehbooba (Beloved, O Beloved) +
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Tanburi Cemil Bey (arr. Stephen Prutsman) / Evic Taksim +
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Traditional (arr. Stephen Prutsman) / Wa Habibi (O My Beloved) +
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Gétatchèw Mèkurya (arr. Stephen Prutsman) / Aha gèdawo +
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Pamela Z / And the Movement of the Tongue * World premiere

Born • Home • Learned in the South • English • A Piece of π • Coffee • Cupertino • The Tongue • Henry in Cuffs • I Don’t Know • Mother

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* Written for Kronos
+ Arranged for Kronos

Kronos/YBCA Collaboration

The Kronos Quartet/Kronos Performing Arts Association and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts entered into a multi-year partnership in the fall of 2010 in which YBCA would be Kronos' exclusive San Francisco home for concerts and experimentation for three seasons. Kronos and YBCA co-produce performance programs each season, and have co-commissioned three new works so far. In the 2010–2011 season, Kronos presented the program Black Angels, which included the world premiere of Sahba Aminikia’s String Quartet no. 3, A Threnody for Those Who Remain, commissioned for Kronos through this partnership. This was followed by A Chinese Home with guest performer Wu Man. In addition to Women’s Voices, featuring guest vocalist Tanya Tagaq and the world premiere of the newest commission, Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ’s All Clear, Kronos also performed another commission in YBCA’s 2011–2012 season, Fragile with Eiko & Koma.

"Kronos is thrilled to begin a three-year partnership with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. We are inspired by the Center's programs and artistic vision, and we feel a great synergy in our mutual commitment to the creation and performance of new work. We are excited by the opportunity to deepen our relationship with YBCA and its audiences. Kronos has always loved performing at YBCA, and we look forward to planning very special programs and performances in our hometown."

—David Harrington, Artistic Director, Kronos Quartet

“The Kronos Quartet is one of the world’s leading string quartets, pushing the boundaries of contemporary music and constantly reinventing themselves through their explorations with artistic partners. YBCA is thrilled to celebrate this new venture with the Kronos Quartet—an organization that shares our vision and commitment to innovation—which is sure to delight music fans with new works and experimentations for several years to come.”

—Kenneth J. Foster, Executive Director, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
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Events

  • Pre-Show Discussion with the Composers
    Feb 21, 2013 6:00pm – 6:30pm
    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater
    Free with concert ticket

    Join us for a special pre-show curtain talk with the four San Francisco composers selected by Kronos Performing Arts Association and YBCA for Kronos: Listen Local. The composers Pamela Z, Nathaniel Stookey, Dan Becker, and Stephen Prutsman will speak about their work with pianist, writer and radio producer Sarah Cahill who will moderate the discussion. Sarah Cahill’s radio show, Then & Now, can be heard every Sunday evening from 8 to 10 pm on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory and curates a monthly series of new music concerts at the Berkeley Art Museum.

  • Kronos: Listen Local
    Feb 21, 2013 7:00pm
    Feb 22, 2013 7:00pm
    Lam Research Theater at YBCA (formerly Novellus Theater)

    Pamela Z / new work — World premiere
    Nathaniel Stookey / String Quartet No. 3, “The Mezzanine” — World premiere
    Dan Becker / "Carrying the Past" — West Coast premiere

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Artist Bio

Kronos Quartet

For nearly 40 years, the Kronos Quartet — David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola), and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello) — has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 45 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning more than 750 works and arrangements for string quartet. In 2011, Kronos became the only recipients of both the Polar Music Prize and the Avery Fisher Prize, two of the most prestigious awards given to musicians. The group’s numerous awards also include a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and "Musicians of the Year" (2003) from Musical America.

Kronos' adventurous approach dates back to the ensemble's origins. In 1973, David Harrington was inspired to form Kronos after hearing George Crumb's Black Angels, a highly unorthodox, Vietnam War-inspired work featuring bowed water glasses, spoken word passages, and electronic effects. Kronos then began building a compellingly diverse repertoire for string quartet, performing and recording works by 20th-century masters (Bartók, Shostakovich, Webern), contemporary composers (Aleksandra Vrebalov, John Adams, Alfred Schnittke), jazz legends (Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk), and artists from even farther afield (rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov, interdisciplinary composer/performer Meredith Monk).

Integral to Kronos' work is a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world's foremost composers. One of the quartet's most frequent composer-collaborators is “Father of Minimalism” Terry Riley, whose work with Kronos includes the early Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector; Cadenza on the Night Plain and Salome Dances for Peace; 2002's Sun Rings, a multimedia, NASA-commissioned ode to the earth and its people, featuring celestial sounds and images from space; and Another Secret eQuation for youth chorus and string quartet, premiered at a concert celebrating Riley's 75th birthday. Kronos commissioned and recorded the three string quartets of Polish composer Henryk Mikolaj Górecki, with whom the group worked for more than 25 years. The quartet has also collaborated extensively with composers such as Philip Glass, recording his string quartets and scores to films like Mishima and Dracula (a restored edition of the Bela Lugosi classic); Azerbaijan's Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, whose works are featured on the full-length 2005 release Mugam Sayagi: Music of Franghiz Ali-Zadeh; Steve Reich, whose Kronos-recorded Different Trains earned a Grammy for the composer; Argentina's Osvaldo Golijov, whose work with Kronos includes both compositions and extensive arrangements for albums like Kronos Caravan and Nuevo; and many more.

In addition to composers, Kronos counts numerous artists from around the world among its collaborators, including the Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; legendary Bollywood "playback singer" Asha Bhosle, featured on Kronos' Grammy-nominated CD, You’ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman's Bollywood; Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; Mexican rockers Café Tacuba; genre-defying sound artist and instrument builder Walter Kitundu; the Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks; renowned American soprano Dawn Upshaw; and the unbridled British cabaret trio, the Tiger Lillies. Kronos has performed live with the likes of icons Allen Ginsberg, Zakir Hussain, Modern Jazz Quartet, Noam Chomsky, Rokia Traoré, Tom Waits, David Barsamian, Howard Zinn, Betty Carter, and David Bowie, and has appeared on recordings by such diverse talents as Nine Inch Nails, Amon Tobin, Dan Zanes, DJ Spooky, Dave Matthews, Nelly Furtado, Joan Armatrading, and Don Walser.

Kronos' music has also featured prominently in other media, including film (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, 21 Grams, Heat, True Stories) and dance, with noted choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Eiko & Koma setting pieces to Kronos' music.
The quartet spends five months of each year on tour, appearing in concert halls, clubs, and festivals around the world including BAM Next Wave Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Barbican in London, WOMAD, UCLA's Royce Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, Shanghai Concert Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. Kronos is equally prolific and wide-ranging on recordings. The ensemble's expansive discography on Nonesuch Records includes collections like Pieces of Africa (1992), a showcase of African-born composers, which simultaneously topped Billboard's Classical and World Music lists; 1998's ten-disc anthology, Kronos Quartet: 25 Years; Nuevo (2002), a Grammy- and Latin Grammy–nominated celebration of Mexican culture; and the 2003 Grammy-winner, Alban Berg's Lyric Suite. The group’s latest releases are Floodplain (Nonesuch, 2009), spotlighting music from regions of the world riven by conflict; Rainbow (Smithsonian Folkways, 2010), in collaboration with musicians from Afghanistan and Azerbaijan; and Uniko (Ondine, 2011) with Finnish accordion/sampler duo Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen.

Kronos' recording and performances reveal only a fraction of the group's commitment to new music. As a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, the Kronos Performing Arts Association has commissioned more than 750 new works and arrangements for string quartet. Music publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Kronos have released sheet music for three signature works, all commissioned for Kronos, in the first volume of the Kronos Collection, a performing edition edited by Kronos. The quartet is committed to mentoring emerging professional performers, and in 2007 Kronos led its first Professional Training Workshop with four string quartets as part of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. Subsequent workshops at Carnegie Hall and other venues have expanded this aspect of the quartet’s work. One of Kronos' most exciting initiatives is the Kronos: Under 30 Project, a unique commissioning and composer-in-residence program for composers under 30 years old, launched in conjunction with Kronos' own 30th birthday in 2003. By cultivating creative relationships with such emerging talents and a wealth of other artists from around the world, Kronos reaps the benefit of decades of wisdom while maintaining a fresh approach to music-making inspired by a new generation of composers and performers. www.kronosquartet.org

Pamela Z

Pamela Z is a San Francisco-based composer/performer and media artist who works primarily with voice, live electronic processing, sampling technology, and video. A pioneer of live digital looping techniques, she creates solo works combining experimental extended vocal techniques, operatic bel canto, found objects, text, digital processing, and MIDI controllers that allow her to manipulate sound with physical gestures. In addition to her solo work, she has composed and recorded scores for dance, theatre, film, and new music chamber ensembles. Her large-scale multi-media works have been presented at venues including Theater Artaud and ODC in SanFrancisco, and The Kitchen in New York, and her media works have been presented in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum (NY) , the Diözesanmuseum (Cologne), and the Krannert Art Museum (IL). Her multi-media opera Wunderkabinet — inspired by the Museum of Jurassic Technology (co-composed with Matthew Brubeck) has been presented at The LAB Gallery (San Francisco), REDCAT (Disney Hall, Los Angeles), and Open Ears Festival, Toronto. Pamela Z has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. She has performed in numerous festivals including Bang on a Can at Lincoln Center (New York), Interlink (Japan), Other Minds (San Francisco), La Biennale di Venezia (Italy), and Pina Bausch Tanztheater Festival (Wuppertal, Germany). She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Creative Capital Fund, the CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts, The MAP Fund, the ASCAP Music Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA and Japan/US Friendship Commission Fellowship. She holds a music degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. www.pamelaz.com

Nathaniel Stookey

First commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony at age 17, Nathaniel Stookeyhas gone on to work with many of the world’s great orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Manchester’s venerable Hallé Orchestra, where he was composer-in-residence under Kent Nagano. His concerto for two violins and strings, Double, was commissioned to represent the year 1999 in the millennial Festival of 999 Years of Music in Sheffield, England. According to BBC commentator Norman Lebrecht, Stookey’s The Composer is Dead is one of the five most performed classical works of the 21st century, worldwide. His latest orchestral work, Mahl/er/werk, commissioned by NDR-Sinfonie (Hamburg) for the final concert of their centennial Mahler cycle, was premiered under Christoph Eschenbach before an audience of 10,000 and will be recorded by NDR in 2013. In addition to works for conventional ensembles, Stookey has continued to attract new audiences with music that challenges the established boundaries of classical music. In 2007, Junkestra, for an orchestra of objects scavenged at the San Francisco dump, drew thousands of listeners to warehouses, public squares, and YouTube before being taken up by the San Francisco Symphony and other classical presenters. That same year, Stookey contributed original music for string quintet to The Mars Volta’s Grammy-winning album The Bedlam in Goliath. In 2010, he created the score for Tony-award winning director John Doyle’s new production of Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, which Stookey is currently planning an opera while completing a new work for Kronos Quartet, which will premiere in February 2013. For updates on performances and new releases, please "Like" Nathaniel Stookey, Composer on Facebook.

Dan Becker

Dan Becker composes music (current commissions include a collaborative dance work with Garrett+Moulton Productions), studies music (he received his DMA from Yale), teaches music (he Chairs the Composition Department at the SF Conservatory of Music), organizes music (as founder of the Common Sense Composers' Collective), and advocates for new music (he has served on the boards of such organizations as the American Music Center.) Other recent commissions and collaborations include a featured spot on the 2008 Other Minds Festival and a 2010 Common Sense/Banff-sponsored collaborative project with the Afiara String Quartet. His critically-acclaimed 2004 work “Revolution,” for solo pianist and disklavier piano -- (“a dynamic whirlwind of a piece”-Kosman, SF Chronicle) — was released in 2010 on Kathleen Supové’s CD The Exploding Piano. Awards and grants include those from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Meet the Composer, the Argosy Foundation, the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the American Music Center’s Live Music for Dance, the Zellerbach Family Fund, and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, among others. Becker lives in San Francisco with his wife (and fellow Common Sense colleague) Belinda Reynolds and his 9-year old daughter Eleanor, who never ceases to amaze. www.danbecker.org

Stephen Prutsman

Arranger Stephen Prutsman, born in Los Angeles and a San Francisco resident for two decades, was the keyboard player for several art rock ensembles in his early twenties, worked extensively as a jazz pianist, and was the music arranger for a nationally syndicated televangelist program. Today Prutsman moves easily from classical to jazz to world music as pianist, composer, conductor and curator, continuing to explore and seek common ground in music of all cultures and languages. In the 1990s he was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth piano competitions, and has performed as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras on international concert stages. From 2004 to 2007 Prutsman was Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra where he led concertos from the keyboard, conducted works of living composers, arranged music for world music collaborations, and composed several new works for the orchestra. From 2009 to 2012 he was the Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Music Festival, South America’s largest festival of its kind. Prutsman has arranged over 40 pieces for the Kronos Quartet in addition to having written for many world’s leading classical and popular artists and ensembles. Other passions of his include working for causes benefiting children with autism and their families.

YBCA PERFORMING ARTS ON TWITTER

 From YBCA Curator Marc Bamuthi Joseph on Twitter:

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Kronos' San Francisco Home Season is supported in part by Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund and The Bernard Osher Foundation.

Dan Becker’s "Carrying the Past" was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.

Nathaniel Stookey's String Quartet no. 3, "The Mezzanine," was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation with additional support from the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.

Pamela Z’s "And the Movement of the Tongue" was commissioned for the Kronos Quartet by the Creative Work Fund, a program of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund supported by generous grants from ArtPlace, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The James Irvine Foundation. Additional commissioning support was provided by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
Abundance Foundation
Adobe
Koret Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
Lam Research

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.

YBCA Performance 12-13 is made possible in part by:
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Salesforce
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Additional Funding for YBCA Performance 12-13:
Zellerbach Family Foundation
Panta Rhea Foundation
New England Foundation for the Arts
and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Media Sponsor:
KQED